Dynamist Blog

Plus Sizes: The Big Picture

[Cross posted from DeepGlamour.net]

The malls are empty, and retailers are crying for customers. American women are getting heavier by the day. Yet stores like Ann Taylor and Bloomingdale's, and lines including Liz Claiborne and Ellen Tracy, are slashing their plus-size offerings — turning away potential sales and generating angry denunciations of "sizeism." What's going on?

As I explain in this article on Double X, the new women-oriented spinoff of Slate, there's a perfectly rational explanation that doesn't require an animus toward larger women. It does require graphs to explain, however, and The Washington Post, owner of Double X and Slate, has saddled the ladies with a design that can't handle more than one graphic per article, let alone multiple bar charts.

Here at DG, however, we have an ace technical and design staff. So here are the missing pictures, courtesy of David Bruner at TC[2]. (Click to see the full-size version.)

USA Female Weight Distribution

Height, by contrast, looks more like a bell curve.

Height distribution

Here are weights for the same two age groups:


Read the article here.

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